Cannabis and Senior Homes
Cannabis and Senior Homes
Surprisingly, in this study by the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, it was found that around 9% of adults in the U.S. aged 50 to 64, as well as nearly three percent of adults 65 and older used cannabis between 2015 and 2016. These are relatively high numbers for a demographic we don’t necessarily associate with cannabis use. So, why are seniors turning to cannabis in North America?
Why are they using cannabis?
Medicinal Cannabis has been legal in Canada for a number of years. According to this article in Comfort Life, medicinal cannabis can alleviate pain associated with certain cancers as well as nausea associated with chemo, it can help with chronic pain in scenarios where pharmaceutical interventions are not working well, can help with pain, muscle spasms and urinary problems associated with multiple sclerosis and also help reduce inner-eye pressure in Glaucoma patients. There are also many other conditions that need further investigation that medicinal cannabis may benefit in some form or another. There’s little doubt that for many people, medicinal cannabis can change their lives for the better!
But this is medicinal, what about recreational use?
It’s no secret that Canada recently legalized cannabis for recreation, and, without the medicinal need for cannabis, it brings into question whether the potential side effects of using cannabis are worth it. Comfort Life list some of the potential side effects as: overeating, memory loss, increased risk of falling, and hallucinations.
Also, in this article by National Post, it is suggested that CBD, the part of cannabis that doesn’t cause the “high” feeling – may increase the effects of other drugs in a person’s system by slowing down their metabolism. This could be particularly problematic for a senior who is already on a cocktail of medication to control an existing problem.
If you or the senior in your life is using cannabis in their senior home, take precautions.
Overall, it’s clear that there are pros and cons to seniors uses cannabis in a senior home environment. It’s important to ensure that if you’re a senior using cannabis or if the senior in your life is using cannabis while in their senior home, staff are aware in case of any complications.
How is your home dealing with increased access to cannabis (medicinal and recreational)? If you have a senior in your life, how would you feel about them using cannabis in a senior home? Are you getting more requests from residents for increased accessibility to marijuana?
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @continyoucare as we would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!